On February 23, 2018, Evansville Police Department officer Samuel SeDoris shot and killed 59-year-old Douglas Kemp during a traffic stop. Kemp was the 182nd person killed by police in the U.S. in 2018, and the second person killed by the EPD in 6 months.
Less than a month before, on January 18, 2018, EPD officer Jackie Smith fired two shots at Vincent Bufkin while responding to a "refusal to leave" call; Bufkin survived a gunshot wound to his shoulder and faces several charges related to the encounter.
Six months ago, on August 29, 2017, EPD officer Kenny Dutschke and a yet-to-be-named federal security officer fatally shot 55-year-old Ricky Ard in front of the Federal Building in downtown Evansville.
On Friday, September 1st, the Evansville Police Departmentreleased footage of the execution of Daniel Wooters by police in March.
The release of this footage comes in the midst of a nation-wide wave of protest focused on police murders of black and brown people, which began with the riots that followed the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. These protests and riots have overwhelmingly focused on the murder of black men by police, and rightly so. According to the Washington Post, which has been collecting data on fatal police shootings since 2015, black people in the U.S. are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.
But that doesn’t mean that police murder is not a reality for white people in this country as well. The police kill poor, homeless, mentally ill and other vulnerable white people shockingly often—Daniel Wooters being only the most recent example. According to the website The Counted, The Guardian’s project devoted to keeping track of fatal police shootings, 368 white people have been killed by police in 2016 at the time of this writing. That’s more than one person per day.
Despite this glaring reality and the obvious points of connection between the experience of working-class white people and working-class people of color, white people continue to swell the ranks of the cop-loving, white-supremacist “Alternative Right.” Inspired by the Trump campaign’s attacks on racial minorities and reacting to the upsurge of black rebellion, many working-class white people are turning to Nazi-style fascism rather than finding a common cause with those fighting against power.
In Madisonville, Kentucky, just an hour south of Evansville, the openly racist and homophobic Traditionalist Worker Party has an active branch. In a recent article, their leader Matthew Heimbach reports going door to door in a trailer park in Madisonville, promoting their fascist ideas among its white working-class residents. The group also recently held a tabling event at Murray State University, in Murray, Kentucky. These efforts must be aggressively countered by white-folks in the Tri-state who do not share their visions of a totalitarian government and the persecution of ethnic and racial minorities. It’s only by hitting the streets, countering their demos and doing our own outreach that we’ll stop them from laying the groundwork for the nightmare world they dream of.
The Evansville Police Department released body camera footage on Friday, September 1st of Evansville cops shooting and killing Daniel Wooters, 38.
The footage is from March 15, 2016, when Wooters stole a police cruiser, was chased by police and eventually shot to death after stopping and getting out of the vehicle.
Evansville Courier & Press (IN) - August 28, 2009
Author/Byline: CHARLES WILSON, Associated Press Section: Metro Page: A9
INDIANAPOLIS - Juvenile justice experts said Thursday that the racial disparity in young offenders in Indiana is alarming and cited new data that show black youth are far more likely to be placed in detention centers than whites when arrested for similar offenses.
About 200 judges, social workers and other experts from Indiana and other states gathered in Indiana-
polis to discuss how to handle the state's racial disparities in the arrest and prosecution of juveniles. The meeting was an outgrowth of a state commission's report in October about youth services in the state.
Russ Skiba, director of the Equity Project at Indiana University, said preliminary figures based on 2008 data show that black youth were on average about three times as likely to be arrested than other races.
He also found that blacks were more likely to be detained for minor offenses such as disorderly conduct or violating probation than whites, and were much more likely to be sent to detention centers than white youth arrested for similar offenses.
His data showed that blacks overall were about twice as likely as other races to be detained and that blacks were more than six times as likely to be detained for drug offenses - even though they were arrested for such crimes less often than whites.
Evansville Courier & Press (IN) - October 18, 2009
Author/Byline: GAVIN LESNICK, STAFF WRITER Section: Metro Page: A1 Correction: Pub. 10/20/09 - A report on Page A1 of Sunday's Courier & Press contained an error. The Evansville Police Department agreed to provide a copy of former officer Martin Montgomery's department photo.
Martin Montgomery had the makings of a promising career on the Evansville Police Department.
Still fairly new to the force and assigned to the West Sector night shift, Montgomery, a Gibson County native, already had made a name for himself among his peers and supervisors.
In 2007, a little more than a year after being sworn in alongside 10 other new hires, Montgomery helped save a man who tried to hang himself from a tree. Montgomery hoisted him while a police sergeant untied the noose - an act that would earn both officers merit awards.
And in October 2008, Montgomery's good police work again caught the eye of his supervisors: He was named Officer of the Month for locating and then chasing a car driven by suspects in a home invasion robbery.
But only weeks after those arrests were made, Montgomery is alleged to have transformed from cop to criminal, using his power and position to assault two women he encountered while patrolling.